Good news! Rosie O’Donnell will receive a much deserve honorary award at this year’s Tony Awards. She’s getting the Isabelle Stevenson award for her incredible contributions to musical theater– specifically her Rosie’s Theater Kids foundation and Maravel School for theater on West 45th St. This school is such a gem. Kids from all over New York come there on afternoons after school for theater training. The Maravel school has literally changed the lives of hundreds of kids over the last few years!
Here’s the release:
Rosie O’Donnell will be presented with the 2014 Isabelle Stevenson Award for her commitment to arts education for New York City’s public school children. In 2003, Rosie’s For All Kids Foundation launched Rosie’s Broadway Kids, which is now known as Rosie’s Theater Kids (RTKids). Rosie’s Theater Kids is a non-profit arts education organization which continually provides training in dance, music and drama for students attending public school in New York City. RTKids serves students who otherwise would not have the opportunity to experience theater, positively changing the trajectory of their lives by providing comprehensive classes in music, dance and drama; thoughtful mentoring; and structured academic guidance. Dedicated to enriching the lives of children though the arts, their goal is to inspire excellence, motivate learning, uplift the human spirit, build confidence, and spark a lifelong appreciation for the arts.
RTKids provides a number of programs, including:
· PS Broadway – An in-school program for NYC public school fifth-graders. During the year, RTKids staff members teach dance and music as part of a 15-week program that serves 22 schools throughout Manhattan. Every class of students takes a free trip to see a Broadway musical and participates in a question-and-answer session with performers, directors, conductors and members of the production’s technical staff. Each semester this program is wrapped up with a school assembly where the students perform for their peers, parents and teachers.
· ACTE II (A Commitment to Excellence) – A scholarship program in which outstanding graduates of PS Broadway have the opportunity to receive further training in free after-school classes in ballet, tap, jazz, voice and drama. The program includes a Summer Intensive program that provides group classes and private lessons, preparing students for a final performance for family, friends and industry professionals.
· Spotlight on Fitness (SoFit) – Developed in collaboration with a school-based health care program and the NYC Department of Education, SoFit is a physical education program that fulfills state and local curriculum requirements in both the arts and physical education.
· A+ (Arts Plus) – This program provides supplementary tools to enhance the academic achievement of the ACTE II Students at the secondary level. A+ includes after-school tutoring, High School admission guidance, private coaching and preparation for performing arts school auditions (both high school and collegiate) and professional PSAT and SAT preparatory classes. To date, with the individual coaching and assistance from RTKids, 100% of the 8th grade students were placed in competitive New York City performing arts high schools for the past two years.